A simple yet informative comprised reasoning for the benefits of including Dark Chocolate in your diet. A meta-study by Mitchell et al. (2011) revealed the following: Chocolate contains the following compounds that are contributors to improved cognitive function after ingestion of cocoa solids. Chocolate contains two methylxanthines caffeine – the popular pick me up – and theobromine, the star of the show.
Theobromine has a direct effect on adenosine receptors, these receptors play an important function in sleep regulation where upregulation would decrease drowsiness or sleepiness. This combined with the stimulating properties of caffeine as capable of reducing reaction time. Scholey et al. (2009) adds: A test of a Cognitive Demand Battery revealed that: comprising a ‘mental fatigue’ scale, over the course of 1 hour. Consumption of Cocoa Solids significantly improved performance and significantly speeded responses.
This is the first report of acute cognitive improvements following chocolate consumption in healthy adults.
Mitchell, E. S., Slettenaar, M., Vd Meer, N., Transler, C., Jans, L., Quadt, F., & Berry, M. (2011). Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure. Physiology & behavior, 104(5), 816-822.
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(10), 1505-1514.